For several years now, I’ve kept a kind of art journal, primitive (or childlike) though it may be. In addition to writing, I draw in this journal, and glue images, designs, papers, cards that are pleasing. I’ve always thought of this journal as a throwback to my childhood scrap-booking days. I love playing with scissors, glue, colored pencils, pictures, and lovely papers. These journals are my secret pleasure. I wouldn’t dream of showing them to anyone. They remain stacked neatly on a shelf in my office, never to be mentioned in public, and certainly not among my friends in the arts. They would surely laugh.
But for a couple of years now, my journaling has become more than just a hobby, and I’ve started thinking I might bring together a small collection of poems with some of my graphic designs and drawings. I want to bring word and image together in some pleasing fashion. And as I said in my previous post, I have finally and blessedly become liberated from any notion of excellence—and driven more by a sheer joy to make something pretty.
Then I became enamored of the work of Seth Godin, and especially his latest book called What to Do When It’s Your Turn (And It’s Always Your Turn). Godin is a creative artist in a variety of areas: writing, entrepreneurship, marketing, design. His book combines art, design, lists of advice, short essays, and quotations into a visual and verbal experience of inspiration. When I read the book last year, I thought, “I want to do that.” And that thought was accompanied by a giddy, happy feeling inside. I didn’t dare say it outloud. That would have been way too bold and scary. But deep in my fluttery little heart, I had the temerity to say I want to do what Seth Godin does. Bring inspiring words and beautiful designs together into one artful experience.
Could I do that? I kept fearfully asking.
And while I had my doubts for a long time, something inside me kept saying, “I can do that, too.” So not knowing how I could ever achieve Godin’s level of performance, I still hung on to a that little voice telling me it just might be possible for it to happen. It might be.
And so I set about getting myself prepared. I have come to have a faith in my yearnings; I pay close attention to them; I treat them with respect. When we yearn to do or be something, that yearning is the very first evidence that what we desire is coming into manifestation. The fact that I have the capacity to even form the desire to create a visual journal, means the desire is on its way to being fulfilled.
Of course it takes more than wishful thinking. We must hold the space mindfully for such yearning to be fulfilled. We must do our part of the work. We must show up. Put one foot in front of the other. Stay focused and disciplined. Be open and receptive. And hold the space for the creative spirit to work its magic. We collaborate with that spirit.
I hold tight to my desire, knowing it is a beacon. I increased my drawing practice. I signed up for Lynn Whipple’s Year of the Spark online art class (an act of bravery in itself). I purchased the necessary art supplies. I created an art space. Then, in another act of bravery, I upped the ante by taking Rachel Simmons Art of the Visual Journal course at Rollins. I showed up every day. I learned and grew and became more confident and, most importantly, more joyful. And I kept paying attention to that joy. Follow that joy, I told myself.
So I wonder. What are you yearning to do, make, or be? What small, precious desire is lying low, waiting for you to be bold and create the space for manifestation. It’s a practice, you know. It’s an intention. It’s a willingness to lean into the desire, and follow the joy.
And then, forward is the only option.
Let LifeArt Studio help you lean in to your desire. We offer a free Creative Momentum Session, designed to help you clarify your yearnings and determine a path for supporting those yearnings in happy and productive ways. Contact me for an appointment.